Symposium on The Medicalization of Poverty
The 2017 New Perspectives on Health Policy Symposium, organized in conjunction with the Carle health system, will address The Medicalization of Poverty. It is well documented that a number of diseases are strongly linked to poverty, and poverty is a strong predictor of health status. But a second aspect of poverty is less well-explored—that we have medicalized poverty. We spend inordinate amounts of money and other resources to address healthcare needs brought on by poverty instead of providing for the tangible needs of the poor before illness strikes. We treat the symptom, not the problem. This gathering is to consider “How can we do better, and what role can law and policy play?” The Symposium will bring together experts on the connection between poverty, disease burden, and healthcare expenditures to explore creative approaches for improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged among us. The healthcare system itself may have a transformative role to play.